Consider the situation in which a landlord seeks to give a tenant notice (e.g. past rent, apartment inspection or servicing).

Does taping / affixing the notice to the outside of the tenant's apartment door without confirming that the tenant has heard and acknowledged the presence of the notice count as delivering the notice?

If the tenant rarely leaves their apartment (e.g. due to a quarantine), it may be expected that they would not be likely to see the notice in time, especially if the notice is particularly time-sensitive (e.g. 24-hour warning of apartment entry).

Jurisdiction: State of California

  • 1
    You might want to specify a jurisdiction. Commented Aug 8, 2020 at 20:01

1 Answer 1


No. For example, in Washington, notice must either be given in person, or by both posting "in a conspicuous place on the premises unlawfully held" as well as "deposited in the mail, postage prepaid, by both regular mail and certified mail directed to the tenant's or tenants' last known address". As far as I know, no notice to tenant can be simply posted on the door -- personal or mail service is required. However, the statute governing municipally-ordered inspections simply says "written notice" with no further specification, in which case the general rule about personal or mail service might apply. But that rule is about legal demands ("you must appear / pay / leave"), whereas the inspection statute is information ("there may be an inspection").

But, if a jurisdiction says that posting to the door is effective, then if they post it to the door and you don't ever leave the apartment, you were still served.

  • This answer is correct for California as well. California law requires either personal service of such documents, or their service by both posting on the property and by mailing via USPS. See California Code of Civil Proc. §§ 1161-1162. Commented Aug 11, 2020 at 1:34

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